No, a 3 Mbps internet is not fast. In fact, it can make things frustrating for you, especially when you are dealing with bandwidth-intensive activities. At this speed, even regular web surfing won’t be fun, hence consider opting for at least 10 Mbps internet.
With an internet speed of 3 Mbps, you will be able to carry out limited tasks like 720p Zoom calls, basic YouTube streaming, audio streaming, basic gaming etc. Also, 3 Mbps speed is eight times slower than the average US internet speed.
Still, is 3 Mbps fast enough for a single user? What all can you perform with this plan? What are the download durations? To answer all these questions with accuracy, I used this low-end plan for 3 days straight and shared my findings below.
How Fast is 3 Mbps?
Here’s all that you will be able to do with a 3 Mbps connection:
|Activities||Required Download |
|Required Upload |
|Can 3 Mbps
|Social Media||500 Kbps - 2 Mbps||200 - 300 Kbps||Yes|
|Messaging & Email||100 Kbps||12.5 Kbps||Yes|
|Web Browsing||100 - 1000 Kbps||12.5 - 125 Kbps||Yes|
|WhatsApp Voice Call||100 Kbps||12.5 Kbps||Yes|
|WhatsApp Video Call||2-3 Mbps||250-300 Kbps||Yes|
|Skype HD Call||1-3 Mbps||125 - 300 Kbps||Yes|
|Skype Group HD Call||4-5 Mbps||500 - 600 Kbps||No|
|Zoom HD Call||3.5-4 Mbps||400 - 500 Kbps||No|
|Zoom Group HD Call||4-5 Mbps||500 - 600 Kbps||No|
|Watching YouTube Videos [480p]||500 - 1000 Kbps||200 Kbps||Yes|
|Watching YouTube Videos [1080p]||2-3 Mbps||250 - 300 Kbps||Yes|
|Streaming Netflix [720p]||1.5-2 Mbps||250 Kbps||Yes|
|Streaming Netflix [1080p]||5-7 Mbps||600-800 Kbps||No|
|Online Gaming||3-4 Mbps||300 - 400 Kbps||No|
|Streaming Audio Music||400 Kbps||50 Kbps||Yes|
Time Taken to Download Different File Types & Sizes with 3 Mbps Plan
Browsing the internet only will take longer than usual at this speed. Imagine, downloading large files!! Too irritating. You can look at the table below to have a better understanding.
Also, megabit ≠ megabyte. Your browser downloads files in megabytes while your internet speed is measured in megabits. Learn more in Mb vs MB comparison.
|Type & Size of File||Download Duration|
|Apps and Games [Up to 20 GB]||Approximately 2 Hours|
|Email Attachments [Up to 25 MB]||Up to 9 Seconds|
|HD Movies [Up to 3 GB]||17 Minutes|
|HD Music Album [Up to 500 MB]||Up to 3 Minutes|
|1080 p videos [Up to 1.5 GB]||Up to 9 Minutes|
What Can You Do with This Speed?
On paper, 3 Mbps internet speed can allow you to make 3 audio zoom calls, have 3 online gaming sessions, 1 Netflix HD Stream and 4 Spotify Premium Streams. In reality, this number might decrease.
Let’s break it down further to understand it in detail:
Can You Stream with 3 Mbps Internet?
Netflix is the largest OTT platform today. But is streaming Netflix good with a 3 Mbps plan? Well, the standard definition video of Netflix requires an internet speed of 1 Mbps. This means you can stream up to 3 HD videos with this plan. While 720p HD videos require a minimum of 3 Mbps. So, that also is possible with this plan. Right?
Well, not really! Practically, the streaming requirements are higher than what Netflix claims. So, with an internet speed of 3 Mbps, you will be able to have at max one standard definition stream.
Audio streaming platforms have a lesser upload and download speed. Talking about Spotify, the requirement is quite less, i.e. 640 Kbps. So, you would be able to stream up to four tracks simultaneously with this plan.
Is 3Mbps Good for Gaming?
Online gaming has been in high demand for a long now. And the quality of games that we have today, good upload and download speeds are needed. The average download speed for most games, however, is between 3-10 Mbps. This speed can further increase, based on the game quality.
So, with the 3 Mbps plan, you will be able to get away with approximately three gaming sessions. But be ready to deal with delays and lag. You will also need to disconnect all other devices from the internet when playing games.
Too many tasks for a not-so-good experience!
Another aspect of gaming is downloading game files. While low-end games like Puzzles and word games can be downloaded in seconds. You would face challenges when downloading high-end games like Gears of War 4 having a file size of 117 GB. It will take you 3 days and a half to completely download it.
How is 3 Mbps for Video Conferencing?
Upload speed is a crucial aspect of video calls as you will need to share images or voice notes sometimes. This might not be as smooth with the 3 Mbps WiFi. You will be able to make a single 720p HD Zoom call. However, group video calling requires higher bandwidth. So, that won’t be possible at this speed.
Audio calls, on the other hand, require a lower bandwidth. Hence, with the 3 Mbps connection, you can make up to three Zoom HD audio calls, and two Skype audio calls. Quite a decent number for a 3 Mbps internet speed!
Frequently Asked Questions
3 megabits per second internet is actually very slow. It is not even good enough for a single user. For regular work from home, a minimum internet speed of 10 Mbps is said to be ideal.
3 Mbps internet can support 1-3 devices depending upon the Usage. If your work includes basic internet tasks like surfing and browsing, this plan can help you achieve it.
Basic internet tasks like surfing the web, sharing small files, emailing without attachments, invoicing, etc., can be done with this plan.
No. 3 Mbps won’t be able to take care of all your work-from-home needs. It is not enough for making continuous video conferences, sharing large documents, uploading or downloading large files, etc.
A 3 Mbps speed means a bad internet experience. I suggest you subscribe to a slightly higher internet plan like 20 Mbps. After all, there is no fun struggling with video calling or streaming. Slow browsing can only leave you frustrated, especially when you have some urgent work to do.